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Remembering Our Brothers

Editor’s note: Remembering Our Brothers was originally published on September 11, 2013 and has since been updated with photos from the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center. 

On this day twelve years ago, Sigma Nu Fraternity tragically lost four brothers in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Below are links to biographies about each of these brothers and a brief personal anecdote about each of our brothers. Help us keep these brother’s memory alive and let them inspire us to live a life of honor.

Lt. Michael Scott Lamana, US Navy (Louisiana State)

mslamana-usnOne of Lamana’s teachers at St. Aloysius said she remembers his sense of humor and book smarts. But Sister Rosary Arocena said she is most proud of his decisions about what to do with his life.

“I see him as a hero who gave his life for our country, and I really admire him.” she said.

“He could have been something else, and he chose to serve his country.”

“He loved his job. He loved the military,” said his father, Jay. “He was just getting into a good part of his life, everything was just going really well for him.”

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/mslamana.htm

Michael Lamana

James Andrew Gadiel (Washington and Lee)

103980portJames was a kindhearted, interesting, and intelligent young man, whom I had the honor and pleasure of knowing both during college and during his brief time in NY.  James had only just moved to NYC to work at Cantor Fitzgerald, when the 9/11 attacks occurred. We had reconnected that prior weekend along with many other (then) recent Lambda chapter graduates, and in fact James was at my apartment the Sunday prior to the attacks to watch the opening weekend of the NFL.  Our last conversation centered around plans to go to a Mets game together.

Looking back on that day 12 years hence, I’m struck by the enormity of the loss of James in ways I don’t think I could’ve imagined when I was 25.  The Lambda chapter alums who gathered thatweekend, unknowingly seeing James for the last time, have moved on with their lives.  Like me, many have gone on to marry and have children, built careers, and hopefully hold to the values of love, honor and truth that were instilled to us by Sigma Nu.  All of that potential that James had, was snuffed out in an instant — which makes the loss even more tragic as time goes on.

James was a valued fraternity brother, a good guy, and a friend.  I think back to the last time I saw him often — as a reminder of the preciousness of life, and the value of living one’s days to their fullest potential.

He is, and always will be, missed. – Doug Hesney (Washington and Lee)

http://www.legacy.com/Sept11/Story.aspx?PersonID=103980

James Gadiel

Peter Christopher Frank (Delaware)

When the planes struck, Peter Frank – who grew up in Great Neck – was emailing his groomsmen to ask them to prepareimagetheir tuxedos for his upcoming wedding to Karen Carlucci, said his mother, Constance Frank, of Great Neck and Rhode Island.

The wedding was to take place Oct. 19 – a date that still can be hard to endure for his family and fiancee, who remains close to Frank’s parents and has never married.

“It’s so hard to lose such a wonderful son, with so much potential to be a happy man,” his mother said. “He was loyal, smart and fun.” The family held a memorial Mass for Frank 10 days after Sept. 11, and buried his remains when they were found.

http://longisland.newsday.com/911-anniversary/victims/Peter-Frank

Peter Frank

Karl Trumbull Smith (Delaware)

Smith_Karl_Photos_Family_013The chores I am relieved of…

I am relieved of picking up my Dad up at the train station.

I am relieved of teaching my Dad to sail.

I am relieved of sharing a car with my Dad.

I am relieved of driving my dad when he’s had a drink.

I am relieved of aiding my Dad after a long run.

I am relieved of telling my Dad where I am.

I am relieved of emptying the trash in my Dad’s bathroom.

I am relieved of calling my Dad for permission.

I am relieved of sending a postcard to my Dad if I am on a trip.

I am relieved of being a son to my father.

That is the chore I miss the most.

Poem written by Brad Smith, Karl Smith’s son  

http://www.voicesofseptember11.org/dev/memorial_biography.php?idbio=874879032

Karl Smith

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nashville

The Nashville skyline. Image courtesy of Kaldari via the Wikimedia Commons.

The Nashville skyline. Image courtesy of Kaldari via the Wikimedia Commons.

Editor’s note: As a resident of Nashville, Associate Director of Risk Reduction Drew Logsdon (Western Kentucky) has a unique perspective on the city. For further information about Sigma Nu’s Grand Chapter held in Nashville, visit sigmanu.org for a complete itinerary.   

By Drew Logsdon (Western Kentucky)

Incorporated in 1806, Nashville is the capital and largest metropolitan area in Tennessee. Known as “Music City” for its prominent role in the music industry, the city is home to 17 different colleges, universities, and vocational colleges. These are just a few of the reasons Nashville is well known as a regional hub and tourist destination. The following facts are some of the less well known but equally compelling attributes of Nashville.

Country’s First Metro Government

Faced with the growth of suburbs following World War II and a tax base struggling to accommodate residents with appropriate services, talks began about consolidating Nashville city government with Davidson county government into a single entity. In 1962 a referendum was passed that fully consolidated Nashville’s city government with Davidson county’s government. In 1963 this was put into practice with the birth of the Nashville Metro Government. While many other metro areas by this time had partial consolidation, Nashville was the first location to have a full and complete consolidated city and county government.

Nashville Civil Rights

Three years before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the Civil Rights Movement was in full force in Nashville. In 1960, civil rights and non-violent protest advocate James Lawson organized a group of African-American students from Fisk University and Tennessee A&I (later Tennessee State University) to begin non-violent protests of the segregated lunch counters in downtown Nashville. The initial effort was met with backlash that sometimes resulted in physical violence against the protesters. However, following several successful and attention grabbing lunch counter sit-ins secret negotiations with business owners and protestors began. The final settlement resulted in business owners serving African-Americans at designated times and locations with the media encouraged to report but not sensationalize the event. After a few weeks, businesses began compete desegregation of lunch counters. By May of 1960 the lunch counters had been completely desegregated and Nashville became the first major city in the South to fully desegregate some of its services.

Fisk University

Fisk University was founded in 1866 and is one of the nation's oldest historically black colleges. Image courtesy of Historic American Buildings Survey

Fisk University was founded in 1866 and is one of the nation’s oldest historically black colleges. Image courtesy of Historic American Buildings Survey via the Wikimedia Commons.

Most people know about Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities in Nashville, however Nashville is also home to one of the oldest historically black universities in the nation. Fisk University was founded in 1866 and was the first African-American institution to gain accreditation by the Southern Associate of Colleges and Schools in 1930. Fisk University has been home to many notable alumni including W.E.B. Du Bois, Ben Jobe, Dr. Charles Jeter (Father of Derek Jeter), Matthew Knowles (Father of Beyonce Knowles), John Lewis, and Arthur Cunningham.

Frist Museum

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is Nashville’s most significant and unique art museum: the building itself is considered a work of art. The Frist (as it is known locally) was built in the 1930’s as the city’s main post office and is an excellent example of Art Deco, the popular architectural style of the time. It is located next to Union Station which was necessary as most mail arrived via train. After a new post office location was built near the airport, the downtown location became less and less busy until Philanthropist Thomas Frist coordinated with the city to purchase the building from the US Post Office in the 1990’s and converted it into its current state. Great lengths were taken to ensure that much of the building’s original style and aesthetic remained the same. Today visitors to the Frist can see visible remnants of the building’s tenure as a major post office. The Frist has also hosted major traveling exhibits including most recently an exhibit covering Norman Rockwell’s body of work.

Nashville during the 2010 Cumberland River flood. Photo courtesy of Kaldari via the Wikimedia Commons.

Nashville during the 2010 Cumberland River flood. Photo courtesy of Kaldari via the Wikimedia Commons.

2010 Cumberland River Floods

In May 2010, the city of Nashville saw some of the worst flooding in the city’s history. The Cumberland River, which runs through downtown Nashville, crested at an unprecedented 51.86 feet, the highest level that the river had reached since being dammed in the early 1960’s.  A record-breaking 13.57 inchesfell over May 1-2 and caused the Cumberland and surrounding tributaries to swell far beyond their normal levels. The city was devastated by the floods, which damaged the Grand Ole Opry House, Bridgestone Arena, and LP Field, among other noted landmarks. The flood claimed 22 lives in the state of Tennessee, with ten in Davidson County.

Centennial Park & the Parthenon

The Parthenon in Nashville's Centennial Park. Image courtesy of Dave Pape of the Wikimedia Commons.

The Parthenon in Nashville’s Centennial Park. Image courtesy of Dave Pape of the Wikimedia Commons.

In 1897 Nashville hosted the Tennessee Centennial and International Exhibition to celebrate Tennessee’s centennial. A large plot of land was assigned as the site for the event and work was begun to prepare it. Some of these features included a man-made lake and island that included a restaurant. However, the key centerpiece of the area was the Parthenon. Nashville’s city leaders were well aware that their rival city of Memphis had plans to embrace their namesake by erecting a large pyramid. Not to be outdone by their neighbors to the west, Nashville chose to embrace their own nickname of “Athens of the South” (given for the amount of schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries in town) by building a life size replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Following the Centennial Exhibition, all of the displays and pavilions were taken down except for the Parthenon. Today the Parthenon still stands and the site of the exhibition is called Centennial Park which has become the city’s premier outdoor recreation and event site. Visitors can still visit the Parthenon and even walk inside to the see the life size replica of the statue of Athena.

Printer’s Alley

Printer’s Alley started as a hub for publishing in Nashville with several newspapers, publishers, and print houses located there. By the time Prohibition came, most of the printing businesses had closed down and local residents took to creating home brewing and distilling businesses. Once Prohibition ended, these residents decided to turn their ventures into actual bars and nightclubs. The sale of alcohol for on-premise consumption remained illegal in Nashville but law enforcement turned a blind eye to the antics of Printer’s Alley. Today the area remains a key location for nightlife and is still a slice of the wild side of Nashville.

GooGoo Cluster

Goo-Goo-Cluster-Split

The Goo Goo Cluster. Image courtesy of Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1901 Standard Candy Company was founded in Nashville and soon brought forth a delicious treat that remains a local favorite. In 1912, The Standard Candy Company created the GooGoo Cluster, which is a combination of peanuts, chocolate, marshmallow, and caramel. It is considered by some to be the nation’s first combination candy. The recipe has not changed since its inception and the ingredients were specifically chosen for the lingering taste sensations. If presented with the opportunity to try one, be sure to take advantage and beware of the ensuing addiction to a true Southern delicacy.

Acklen’s Ruse

During the Civil War, Adelicia Acklen found herself as the head mistress of Belmont Mansion and in a precarious position. The Confederate Army was threatening to burn her entire cotton crop to prevent it from falling into the hands of the invading Union Army. Even if the Confederates were unsuccessful, the Union Army would have surely requisitioned her property. In light of these two looming outcomes, Acklen absconded to Louisiana where she negotiated the sale of the entire crop to Rothschilds of London for over $900,000 in gold. The sale of her property, along with her family’s property and other assets, made her one of the richest women in the country for the duration of her life. In her later life she sold Belmont Mansion to what would eventually be known as Belmont University.

Grand Ole Opry Founding

In the 1920’s the National Life & Accident Insurance Company founded the radio program “WSM Barn Dance.” One night the Saturday night program was preceded by a program from New York that featured classical and opera music. Announcer George “Judge” Hay joked before his program began, “For the last hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from grand opera and the classics. We now present our own Grand Ole Opry.” The name stuck and has survived to this day. The very first performer for the “Barn Dance” was 77-year old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson. The Grand Ole Opry bounced around from Belcourt Theatre to War Memorial Auditorium until it found its long-time home at the Ryman Theatre. All venues still exist today.

Bonus Fact: In 1954 a teenage Elvis Presley performed his first and only performance for the Grand Ole Opry and was advised after his show by Opry manager Jim Denny that he should return to Memphis and continue being a truck driver.

Easy Company Soldier: Brother Malarkey Tells His Story

Editor’s note: Easy Company Soldier originally appeared in the fall 2009 issue of The Delta.

World War II Band of Brothers meets Operation Iraqi Freedom Band of Brothers

Don Malarkey with members of 4th Sustainment Brigade during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008. Image courtesy of Maj. Carol McClelland.

By Merritt Onsa

Don Malarkey first learned about paratroopers from an article in the November 1941 issue of Reader’s Digest. It said they were the “…hardest, toughest, and best-dressed soldiers in the Army…” and they got to wear silver wings, designating them as such. He saw photos of their uniforms and knew this was the place for him.

malarkeyIn the summer of 1942, Malarkey received his draft notification. He quit his job at a defense plant in Portland, Oregon, and returned home to Astoria where he ran into a friend who was on leave from Fort Lewis. He told Malarkey that the first thing they asked for was volunteers to join the paratroopers. “Whatever you do, don’t say yes, Malarkey. It’s a death sentence. You’re jumpin’ out of a friggin’ airplane going a couple hundred miles an hour—and right into enemy territory. The odds stink.” But Malarkey’s mind was made up. When he arrived at Fort Lewis with a hundred other new recruits, the paratrooper question came, and he was one of only two in the group who said yes. “I knew where I needed to be,” he says.

Malarkey made it through the intense physical challenges commanded by Easy Company’s Captain Sobel who orchestrated the most demanding training regime in the Army. “We hated him, but he instilled a very strong bond among the men and a spirit of ‘do not quit, no matter what’ that helped us greatly in combat,” recalls Malarkey.

37

Malarkey speaking at College of Chapters in 2009.

Their first day in combat was D-Day. Eighty-one planes took off from England in the middle of the night, headed for Normandy. Under fire, Easy Company dropped in behind enemy lines, several miles from their scheduled drop zone. Once on the ground, their first battle was the now-famous assault on the German battery at Brecourt Manor, the events of which are depicted in the second episode of the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, called “Day of Days”. This German artillery position, three miles southwest of Utah Beach, was firing onto one of the causeway exits and disrupting the advance of the Allied landing forces. Several other units had stumbled onto this position earlier and been repelled.

Malarkey recounted, “Easy Company had been specially trained to attack fortified positions, so despite having only 12 men assembled we got the call.” They had almost no information, and the orders were brief and pointed,‘There’s fire along that hedgerow there. Take care of it!’ They discovered that the position was comprised of four 105mm Howitzers, two MG42 machine gun emplacements, and an interconnected trench system, all defended by a force of about 60 Germans.

[Malarky and Vance] also examined the way leaders who drive negative emotions cultivate dissonance within the group, sharing that management by intimidation is counter productive.

“When we reached the position, Lieutenant Winters told us to line up along a hedgerow and fire full clips in the direction of the guns for covering fire. Then he gave the order to begin the assault. Lieutenant Compton charged the guns first. He fell into a trench system and immediately found himself face to face with a German soldier. Compton tried to fire, but his rifle jammed and the soldier ran off. Compton then signaled the rest of us, and we all ran to the trenches. I ran straight up the pasture to the first gun, taking the Germans by surprise. We knocked out the first gun rather quickly,” Malarkey explains.

Malarkey with Oregon chapter members

Malarky with his Oregon chapter brothers.

It was then that he spotted a dead German soldier in the field. Malarkey decided to run out and grab the German’s Luger pistol as a souvenir. “At first, the Germans must have thought I was a medic because they didn’t fire at me, but that quickly changed. Winters yelled at me to get back into the trench. The Germans started shooting, and I ran back under heavy fire. The dead German did not have a Luger, but thankfully, I wasn’t hit. Unfortunately, our machine gunner Cleveland Petty was hit, and Lieutenant Winters ordered me to man his machine gun along with Joe Liebgott. Winters was worried that the Germans would work in behind us so he ordered us to guard the rear. Liebgott and I covered that position for several hours until we finally pulled out.”

Malarkey with Vice Regent Tony Marable

Don Malarkey (left) with Vice Regent Tony Marable.

Don Malarkey was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in the assault on Brecourt Manor. He was one of 14 Easy Company soldiers to receive medals for their bravery and extraordinary service on D-Day.

By the end of the war, Malarkey’s service had included combat operations in France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. He has the distinction of having spent more time on the front lines (170 days) than any other member of Easy Company. He was discharged on November 29, 1945.

In his book, Malarkey talks about his attempts to deal with the severity and pain resulting from all that he witnessed during the War, including the deaths and injury of many close friends. “I stuffed it deep inside, thinking it would somehow just go away. It didn’t. It just builds up, like carrying one more brick on your back, and one more, and more, and more. And finally you say, Enough, I can’t walk another step.” It wasn’t until a few years ago, when Malarkey went to the VA Hospital to speak with someone, that he learned he’d been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

38

Malarkey signs copies of his book outside the VMI auditorium.

Many of his fraternity brothers were surprised after seeing the “Band of Brothers” series because Malarkey had never spoken to them of his experiences in combat. “When I returned from the war, I was not comfortable talking about what happened unless I was talking with someone who had had a similar experience. I just felt that they would not understand,” he shares. Most of his fraternity brothers who had joined the service had not seen combat.

“But I can say, had it not been for the support of Sigma Nu, and specifically Al Gray, I would not have lasted in school. The discipline and rules did a lot to create a special bond that was very much like what I experienced in the military. It’s something very special and rare,” he shares. Gray was the one who talked Malarkey into enrolling at the University of Oregon in the fall of 1941 and suggested he join Sigma Nu. Although, Malarkey didn’t need convincing to join the Fraternity, since his father, Leo (Oregon) and Uncle Robert (Oregon) had been in the chapter as well as his cousin, Huntington (Oregon). “I had every intention of joining Sigma Nu when I enrolled at the University of Oregon,” he says. In fact, it was the only fraternity he was willing to consider.

Today, regular speaking engagements have given Malarkey the opportunity to talk about his recently published book and communicate a message he hopes will influence future generations. “Not everyone has the chance to make the same type of contribution to the country that we made, nor should they. But it’s my hope that everyone would do something, anything, to benefit the country,” he shares.

“A bully is never a respected leader,” says Malarkey. “Fear and intimidation get results, but never those intended.”

Malarkey presented this message in June at the Fraternity’s undergraduate leadership conference “College of Chapters” in Lexington, Va. More than 350 collegiate members attended the keynote entitled “Frontline Leadership”. Alongside stories of his personal experiences in the War, Malarkey challenged the undergraduates to demonstrate their ability and character by taking on tough assignments and meeting challenges head-on as soon as they are aware of them.

L to R Don Malarkey and Vance Day

Vance Day (right) uses the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers to discuss leadership styles.

Malarkey and his close friend Vance Day, Esq. also spoke to the group about a leader’s responsibility as the emotional guide for the group. “When leaders drive emotions positively – when there is resonance within the group – they bring out everyone’s best,” Malarkey explained during the session. They also examined the way leaders who drive negative emotions cultivate dissonance within the group, sharing that management by intimidation is counter productive. “A bully is never a respected leader,” says Malarkey. “Fear and intimidation get results, but never those intended.”

It was a fitting message for collegiate leaders attending Sigma Nu’s four-day program as it directly related to the Fraternity’s founding values opposed to hazing. “Our mission is to develop ethical leaders for society, and we are deeply honored that Don would travel across the country to be here to share his inspiring story with today’s collegiate leaders,” said the Fraternity’s Executive Director, Brad Beacham.

Find Malarkey’s book online: Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from World War II’s “Band of Brothers” (St. Martin’s Press).

Updates From Lexington

The Fowler Fountain

Fowler Fountain (In Color)_low res

By Ben Nye (Arkansas)

The Fowler Fountain has stood watch over the back patio of the Headquarters Shrine for nearly 45 years. Added as part of the expansion of headquarters in 1969, the Fowler Fountain is dedicated to the memory of Northwestern alumnus and Gamma Beta Initiate Paul S. Fowler.

This winter, one of Fowler’s grandsons – – Chris Wolfe of Derry, N.H. – – came to visit the fountain that was dedicated in the honor of his grandfather. Over the course of the visit, several details emerged about the history of the man for whom the fountain is dedicated.

Paul Fowler was initiated at Northwestern in 1922. He was not the first Sigma Nu in the family as he was the nephew of Dr. Ora Fowler, the first initiate of Gamma Kappa (Colorado) Chapter and long-time Division Commander. His undergraduate career included his service as chapter Reporter, involvement with the school’s theatre department and ROTC. Following his graduation in 1925, Fowler moved to London to manage his father’s business, Fowler Packing Co. which was one of the U.K.’s major importers of natural casings. He and his family; Wife Ella; Daughters Alta, Paula and Jean and Son Gordon, lived in the St. Johns Wood neighborhood of London.

When France surrendered to the invading German army in 1940, Fowler sent his family back to the US with an envelope to be opened upon arrival. In it were instructions to contact Sigma Nu and seek their guidance. They were instructed to drive to Lexington from New York City and upon their arrival, a house on White Street was rented and all four children were enrolled in school. This marked the beginning of the Fowler’s 34 years in Lexington.

Paul, who served during World War II, became a dual commissioned officer in the British and US Armies, retiring as major. It is believed that he was the only officer with simultaneous army commissions during WWII. Fowler’s military service consisted of negotiating land purchases for Allied bases as they marched across Europe to Germany.

Following the war, Fowler joined his family in Lexington. Paul and Wife Ella started a real estate company known as Fowler Enterprises, which was located on Main Street in downtown Lexington. Paul Fowler_Headshot

In 1955, Fowler was put in touch with former Executive Secretary Dick Fletcher (Penn State) to assist in locating a potential home for Sigma Nu headquarters. This began a two year correspondence between the two men that included Fowler presenting Fletcher with multiple property options in Lexington. Ironically, Fletcher was unaware of Fowler’s belonging to the roles of Sigma Nu. Fletcher, after an exchange over the phone, learned of his ignorance and was pleased to declare Fowler, “a brother in the bonds.”

Although the final location and sale of the property that became Sigma Nu’s home was credited to another agent – – W.E. Tilson was the agent that located the Smith property – – there can be no doubt that Fowler was vital in assisting Sigma Nu in its search for a permanent home.

In 1958, Paul Fowler passed away – – scarcely four months after Sigma Nu’s move to Lexington. His surviving wife and children sought an opportunity to memorialize his love for Sigma Nu, which presented itself ten years later. Ella Fowler and her children donated the fountain that rests on the Memorial Terrace after Dick Fletcher made a request in The Delta for a donation of a two-leveled fountain.

It is a fitting reminder of a man who found his home in Lexington and in turn helped Sigma Nu return to its home.

Visitors in Lexington

Epsilon Mu Fall 2013

The Epsilon Mu Chapter (Butler) takes a fall pilgrimage.

Gamma Alpha Pilgrims

Candidates of the Gamma Alpha Chapter (Georgia Tech) visiting the Headquarters Shrine.

Matt Young and Ref Crew

Past Grand Chaplain Matt Young (Wittenburg) and his crew of officials visited the Rock prior to working the VMI-Glenville State football game.

Paul Wickler Norwich

Alumnus Paul Wickler (Norwich) returns to the Headquarters Shrine for his first visit in many years.

VT Brothers at Rock

Brothers Hunter Bryant and Tim Hunter (Virginia Tech) stop by for a visit while traveling home for the weekend.

Return to Table of Contents.

Sigma Nu Brothers Honored by North-American Interfraternity Conference

Image

Sigma Nu brothers gathered for the 2014 North-American Interfraternity Conference Gold Medal Banquet. Image courtesy of the Fraternal Composite Service.

Sigma Nu is pleased to announce that several brothers were awarded North-American Interfraternity Conference’s (NIC) Awards of Distinction during the most recent annual meeting held in Indianapolis, Ind. Two brothers, Wells Ellenberg (Georgia) and Dr. Michael McRee (Kansas State) were both presented with individual Awards of Distinction and the Epsilon Mu Chapter at Butler University was presented with the Chapter of Distinction Award.

Wells Ellenberg (Georgia) was among only seven collegiate fraternity men to earn the Undergraduate Award of Distinction. Brother Ellenberg, a 2013 graduate of the University of Georgia, is a past Collegiate Grand Councilman and is Sigma Nu’s 2013 Man of the Year. Ellenberg served the Mu Chapter as Commander, LEAD Chairman, and Recruitment Chairman. “I am the man that I am today and the leader that I am today thanks in large part because of my fraternal experience and this award goes out to all those who made that experience possible,” Ellenberg said at the event.

Dr. Michael McRee (Kansas State) was presented with the Alumni Award of Distinction alongside two other winners. Dr. McRee has served as the associate executive director for the Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation since 2012 where he has managed daily operations. From 2007-2010 McRee served as Foundation Ambassador for the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation and is a past facilitator for educational sessions held at Grand Chapter.

Image

Michael McRee (on right) with immediate Past Chairman of the NIC Allen Groves. Image courtesy of Fraternal Composite Service

“I know that to achieve anything of significance in this industry and others, it’s those partnerships that are important that sustain us throughout all of those difficult times,” said McRee, reflecting on his experience working with fraternities and sororities.

The Epsilon Mu Chapter at Butler University was presented with the Chapter of Distinction Award along with four other fraternity chapters. The Epsilon Mu Chapter, chartered in 1926, has initiated 1,494 brothers and has won three consecutive Rock Chapter awards (2008, 2010, and 2012).

Representing the Epsilon Mu Chapter at the banquet was immediate past Commander and current Collegiate Grand Councilman Joey Thomas. “Our chapter is constantly striving to challenge the status quo and to pursue excellence in all areas,” Thomas says of the chapter. “I’m excited for what the future may hold.”

The North-American Interfraternity Conference was founded in 1909 and is the trade association representing 75 international and national men’s fraternities. The NIC serves to advocate the needs of its member fraternities through enrichment of the fraternity experience, advancement and growth of the fraternity community, and enhancement of the educational mission of the host institutions.

Lambda Chapter Named Chapter of the Year

Chapter of the Year_Lambda_Mason Williams_Spring 2014The Lambda Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity was named Washington and Lee University’s Greek Chapter of the Year at the university’s
2014 LEAD awards banquet. The administration cited the chapter’s focus on community service and its partnership with organizations like Relay for Life and Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity, with which new members built a home earlier this winter. Brothers of the chapter were praised for their leadership roles in many campus organizations, including the Student Association for International Learning and the Student Judicial Council. Lambda Chapter was also recognized this year for its academic accomplishments, as the chapter once again achieved the highest GPA of any Greek organization at Washington and Lee.

When asked about his thoughts regarding the award, Commander Alex Retzloff (above, with LEAD program member) remarked, “I could not be more proud of all of the members of Lambda Chapter. They put in their all and it paid off—the university took notice of their remarkable efforts.  However, this award does not mean we can stop what we are doing and rest on our laurels. Now more than ever we must strive to continue to be an exemplary part of the community, both on and off campus.”

Send your chapter’s news to news@sigmanu.org. 

Alumni Chapters vs. Alumni Clubs

This post is part of a larger series addressing alumni development. This series is designed to educate and inform brothers about best practices for alumni development.

Sigma Nu Leadership conference

By Ben Nye (Arkansas) and Todd Denson (Nicholls State)

For many Sigma Nu alumni and collegiate brothers, the distinction between an alumni chapter and an alumni club is rather blurry. Many chapters have some type of alumni group, but often these can be loosely organized or lack a clear focus. The alumni within these groups don’t understand if their role is to support the chapter, maintain their own organization, or have a good time and get to know other Sigma Nu brothers. When an alumni chapter or club is set up properly, it can create the needed infrastructure to support the collegiate chapter, increase involvement, and enhance the lifelong Sigma Nu experience for all.

Alumni Chapters

According to The Law of Sigma Nu, graduates from each collegiate chapter are entitled to form an official alumni chapter, and a special charter is granted by the General Fraternity to those alumni groups who qualify. The primary purpose of the alumni chapter is to offer assistance to the collegiate chapter, provide record-keeping and information exchange among its membership, and encourage active participation in the affairs of the General Fraternity.Nom Comm

To establish an alumni chapter, at least ten alumni members of Sigma Nu must petition the High Council to receive a charter. Alumni chapters are given the same designation of a collegiate chapter. All of the petitioners must be alumni of the collegiate chapter to which they are forming the alumni chapter. Thus, the Nu Beta Alumni Chapter was petitioned by alumni brothers of the Nu Beta Chapter at Huntingdon College. Subsequently, each alumni chapter is required to submit alumni chapter officer changes to the General Fraternity each year. Each alumni chapter is also entitled to vote at Grand Chapter– the fraternity’s biennial legislative convention.

Alumni chapters are not limited to operating where there is an open undergraduate chapter. Many alumni chapters exist where the college or university no longer has an active Sigma Nu collegiate chapter. Alumni chapters play a critical role in bringing back undergraduate chapters or in establishing new ones.

Alumni chapters are also bound by The Law, but it is also important that alumni chapters have their own bylaws. The Law recommends that alumni chapters elect officers annually but does not stipulate how dues should be collected or when the alumni chapter should hold formal meetings. In this respect, alumni chapters are similar to undergraduate chapters in that they have a system of governance and orderly meetings. The level of engagement and activity of the alumni chapter, however, is largely up to its membership.

Alumni Clubs

Alumni clubs are usually formed in metropolitan areas where there is a sufficient number of Sigma Nu alumni to celebrate the spirit of the Fraternity through organized activities. The membership of an alumni club may be composed of dedicated Sigma Nus from any chapter. Although the functions of the alumni clubs may be similar to alumni chapters, they are not entitled to a vote at Grand Chapter. Contrasted with alumni chapters, alumni clubs tend to focus on networking and social relationship building.

Dinner at Delta GammaSigma Nu alumni clubs exist to provide opportunities for Sigma Nus to meet new people, expand networking opportunities, and enjoy social outings. Sigma Nu alumni clubs can also participate in various service and philanthropic events to benefit groups in the local community. Most importantly, Sigma Nu alumni clubs allow members to maintain a connection to the Fraternity.

Typically, alumni clubs will plan regular or annual social outings for the members that make up the club. Some examples would include monthly luncheons, holiday gatherings, or hosting speakers at a semiannual gathering. Furthermore, alumni clubs usually do not have a formal dues structure but may cover costs for events by charging admission or assessing a fee for certain events.

Both organizations are designed for alumni to get involved and participate in Sigma Nu activities after graduation. Alumni clubs focus on giving alumni a social or networking opportunity while alumni chapters create ways for alumni to be involved in a more structured organization, especially in support of an undergraduate chapter.

A listing of active alumni chapters and active alumni clubs can be found on the Sigma Nu Fraternity website.

Alumni Spotlight: Justin Spooner’s Bid for State Legislature

Justin Spooner is a 23-year-old, recent graduate of the University of Nebraska and is currently seeking election into the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. Justin is campaigning for election in Omaha, his lifelong home. He served his chapter as Alumni Relations Chairman and has also interned for U.S Senators Mike Johanns and Ben Nelson.

What was your motivation for running for state legislature?

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Justin Spooner is seeking election in Nebraska’s District 6, the community he has been involved with since his youth.

It started a few years back when I was 19 and a freshman in college. I started getting a passion for the political arena and government in general, and I told myself that when I have an opportunity to run for legislature to make it happen, so that’s where it began. But it’s a deeper motivation that relates to the community where I am running for office, District 6 in west central Omaha, Neb., where I was born and raised. It really stems from being involved in the community my whole life, my passion for public service, and seeing that I do have the ability to make a change.

What are some of your policy goals?

It’s important for local control and funding to be protected for schools. Parents and educators within the community are the best at educating their children. I’m for specialized curriculum when it comes to local schools. I also want to make sure we provide property tax relief. Nebraska has one of the highest property tax rates in the country and I want to alleviate the costs for hardworking Nebraskans.

What will it take to get elected?

The first election, the primary election, will happen May 13th, 2014, and then the general election is in November. Nebraska is the only state in the country with a unicameral legislature. This means that there is only one house; we don’t have a house, only a senate. Furthermore, the Nebraska state senate is non-partisan senate. Once in office the senators no longer put a ‘D’ or ‘R’ next to their names. Nebraska is the only state to do this.

In the primary I’m actually running against five other candidates. The two top vote earners in the primary regardless of party move on to the general election. It’s a unique election, but it works well.

How did Sigma Nu shape you and influence you to become the person you are today?

You gain a respect for other people; their beliefs, property, and personal space. It really opened my eyes to how people can disagree while remaining friends and brothers. Even though many of my brothers disagree with me politically, they’ve all supported me 100%. That’s what fraternity is about to me: it’s about the support system.

The fraternity shaped me as a leader and it opened my eyes to be able to understand different people from different places having completely different views, but knowing that they are still good people and still friends and brothers.

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Justin Spooner pictured with his sister Sarah, and mother Gayle Milder.

A Fraternal Creed and Personal Conviction

The following is a reprinted essay written by David W. Stockmeier (Old Dominion). Brother Stockmeier wrote this essay as part of an educational leadership services class that was taught by past Sigma Nu Greek Advisor of the Year Mindy Sopher. Upon reading the essay, Sopher sent it to past Executive Director Mo Littlefield (Maine) for review and archiving. Stockmeier’s essay is an adaptation of The Creed of Sigma Nu and expounds upon his own personal convictions.

Love, Honor, & Truth

The Rock Spring

To Believe In The Life of Love.

This is the beginning of the rest of our life. The friends that are made now will be the most important and most influential of our lives. Although the roads we choose may be different, the friendships we start now will be with us through our last day on this earth. To realize that God our God is the stabilizing factor of our life and our world. We will strive to make a home, however simple and safe. In this home we shall strive to love the wife, and the family that we have made. HOH Creed

To remember with reverence the deed and the person that was our brother in this quest but has since left us behind. We shall remember him for the good man he was and forget the wrongs which he may have committed. To do unto our brother that which we would have him do unto us. This will be done without regard to his race, religion, or origin, as none of these diminish the person. To have our lives follow the ways of gentleness, justice and mercy. All of these being the true qualities which the Knight shall exalt. And so to be true to the Knighthood of Love.

To Walk In The Way of Honor.

To ennoble the basic ideals of right. To recognize the noble impulse and so to recognize the very heart of wrong. To so fully understand the wrong in ourselves that our honest word need be the only foundation worthy of building upon. It is upon this foundation that we will not fall prey to the evil lust for power but be satisfied with the knowledge that we lived as we should. This life being the manifestation of our oath to hold our honor dearer than our life.

HOF CreedIt is from this belief that we realize, without honor we are nothing and not worth the life we are given. With this ideal in our heart we shall judge our fellow man on his character and look away from his past. It is the man himself that we will deal with and not the bewildered ideas of some hateful prejudice. And so to be loyal to the Knighthood of Honor.

To Serve In Light of Truth.

To open our minds to the glory of the world around us so that we may fully appreciate that which comes from our God. We shall avoid at all cost the blindness that afflicts the bigots and dishonorable in the world. It is only after we have freed ourselves of this disease that we can accept others for what they are and not what we think they should be.

We shall hold silent toward the brother who practices a religion that is not ours. The one God is deserved of the multitude of worshipers and it will not be our place to judge the form of worship. The brother that sees differently than us shall never be held in contempt but rather be looked upon as an equal. He shall be deserving of the same compassion and dignity that we feel we deserve. To look upon these differences as part of the divine whole. The perfect bliss and happiness that we strive toward is composed of these various parts.

To honor the institution at which we are enlightened. It is here that we find our true selves as well as gain a better understanding of the world. The world around us is opened to our blind eyes so that we may fully appreciate the wonders of life. To stand guard at the gate of humanity and act as protector. We shall assure that oppression falls upon no poor soul. The watch which we hold shall be for the good of all for it is our assumed duty to help mankind. Every man shall be entitled to a life full of joy and fulfillment, it is to this end that we shall fight. Reception Creed

For as long as we are capable of changing the plight of the downtrodden and yet do not act, we too shall be counted as down. There are present in the world the forces which will try to keep us from our mission, however we shall not be overcome. It is the duty of every Knight to help his fellow man to better not only by himself but the world around.

It is to this end that we fight, for it is the truth that we hold dear to our hearts that will save us from the evil that is present everywhere. And so to be faithful to the Knighthood of Truth.

To Believe In The Life of Love, To Walk In The Way of Honor, To Serve In The Light of Truth,  – This Is The Life, The Way, And Light of Sigma Nu – This Is The Creed For My Life.

David W. Stockmeier

January 31, 1990

Epsilon Xi Hosts 25th Annual Charity Bowl

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The Robinson family with officers of the Epsilon Xi Chapter.

Sigma Nu’s Epsilon Xi Chapter at University of Mississippi hosted last Friday its 25th annual Charity Bowl, the philanthropy football game held every March to raise funds for patients recovering from spinal cord injuries.

Epsilon Xi Chapter’s Charity Bowl was first held in 1990 and originally supported Chuckie Mullins, an Ole Miss Football player who was paralyzed after a violent on-field collision. The recipient of this year’s Charity Bowl proceeds, Stevelyn Robinson, was on hand to receive the $75,000 raised from the event.

The 19-year-old Stevelyn Robinson, a former three-sport athlete, has used a wheel chair since injuring his spinal cord in a 2011 school bus accident. Robinson has worked through two years of physical therapy and can now push a wheeled walker for short distances. Stevelyn, who attended the event with his family, was joined at mid-field with Epsilon Xi Chapter officers and Ole Miss football coach Matt Luke for the check presentation. Commenting about Stevelyn, event coordinator Paul DeForest noted, “Stevelyn is an incredible kid. It’s just a matter of time before he starts walking again.”

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Stevelyn Robinson with his parents and sister.

The Charity Bowl featured a football game between members of the Epsilon Xi Chapter and the Alpha Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Order. KA gained its slot in the Charity Bowl by pledging the highest amount of money in an open bidding session between Ole Miss fraternities. The Ole Miss KA chapter pledged $7,100, outpacing Ole Miss’ Alpha Tau Omega chapter by $500. Previous Charity Bowls participants have included Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi.

Charity Bowl has become a longstanding tradition at the University of Mississippi, eventually expanding to include a cheerleading competition and a Charity Bowl “court” with a Charity Bowl Queen. While the chapter has donated $75,000 to Stevelyn and his family, additional proceeds from the event will go to the Friends of Children’s Hospital in Jackson, Miss. It is anticipated that an additional $25,000 will be donated to the Friends of Children’s Hospital.

The Charity Bowl is supported by a variety of Epsilon Xi alumni, current parents, and friends of the chapter. During the game, many parents and alumni volunteered by selling admission tickets and t-shirts, and working concession stands. With the help of parents and alumni, the chapter was able to raise $18,000 during the game.

Putting a wrap on the event, Deforest said, “It was an excellent experience and we were excited to help Steveyln in his recovery effort. We’re honored to be able to celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary and look forward to the next 25 years of being the largest Greek philanthropy in the country.”

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Epsilon Xi Chapter’s Charity Bowl football team with the Robinson family.